We tasked our experts with the arduous task of trialling the Christmas food gift baskets currently available for 2020. This is their pick of the best on the market, from gluten-free goodies, a meat-lovers' feast, chocolate galore and classic afternoon tea.
Christmas is going to look a little different for many of us this year: if you're contemplating how to make a smaller 'do special, these hampers could help, or make the ideal gift for much-missed loved ones.
Pipers Farm Boxing Day Feast Hamper £110.00
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Perfect for: A feast for any ethical meat eater
This wonderful box from Pipers Farm in Devon arrives on your doorstep in an eco-friendly, recyclable box with wool insulation, and all you need for a great day.
There's a seriously good-looking beef sirloin from the farm's ethically raised, grass-fed, slow-growing Red Ruby cattle. The beef is succulent with a deliciously deep flavour when cooked, plus there's 500ml of broth for the gravy which tastes of beef and nothing else, no stock cubes here.
A clothbound mature Cheddar, Baron Bigod brie, Oxford Blue and a sweet onion marmalade and a carefully chosen bottle of S38 Cabernet Sauvignon rounds off a Boxing Day feast we are sure anyone would be happy to receive. (EL) Buy here
Celebration Charcuterie Selection Box, £35
Perfect for: holiday grazing with loved ones.
While most will opt for traditional fare on the day itself, this charcuterie selection offers an ideal meal for the endless grazing that occurs on Christmas Eve, or Boxing Day.
It's an award-winning selection of cured meats. We adored the smokey pungency of the wild venison salami, and the light zing! of the wild venison chorizo. Also popular was the melt-in-the-mouth Hartgrove Coppa, winner of a 3-star Great Taste award. We washed our charcuterie down with a crisp, chilled cava and it was near to a religious experience. (KC) Buy here
Lakeland Wildflower Christmas Hamper Tote, £24.99
Perfect for…a loved one having to Christmas on their own
The pretty, flower-covered tote bag in this hamper makes such a lovely gift all by itself, even before you start to enjoy the afternoon tea treats inside.
There are jams and lemon curd, biscuits and shortbread, fudge, tea and a delicious piece of fruit cake. They are small jars and packets, making it an ideal present for a loved one having to hold Christmas on their own this year. And afterwards there's the lovely bag, bringing sweet reminders of the thoughtful gift every time it is used. (EL) Buy here
Paxton and Whitfield The Piccadilly Hamper £100
Perfect for: A dream of a gift for cheese lovers
Paxton's have been around for over 200 years. They know a thing or two about cheese so no surprise when we opened the showstopping, lidded wooden box containing an incredible selection of cheeses, crackers and preserves.
There are five perfectly matured, decent-sized cheeses of varying styles with not one under 200g. Shelf life is from two weeks through to the end of January for the gorgeous jar of potted Stilton, so plenty of time to enjoy. As well as the crackers, a chilli jelly and moreish caramelised onion chutney is a deliciously addictive Sloe, almond and fig cake, we managed to eat in one go. (EL) Buy here
Selfridges Christmas Treats Gift Box, £55
Perfect for …any and every chocolate lover
The hamper may not be the largest package when it arrived on the doorstep, but it is seriously lovely to receive. The lidded box is a delight to open, revealing gorgeous gold and coloured boxes, so good looking you won't want to spoil them by opening them. But then inside - a feast. A treat. A feast of a chocolate treat.
There's dark milk hot chocolate, festive almonds, chocolate Christmas trees, and white chocolate pistachio thins. Every bite delicious - chocolate for adults, rich and decadent. (EL) Buy here
Forman and Field Ultimate Christmas Care package, £99.95
Perfect for: Christmas lunch in no time
How clever of Forman's to recognise that this year some Christmas lunches may be smaller than usual. This hamper comes stuffed with everything needed for two, including even the Christmas crackers.
Start with London cure smoked salmon then a Norfolk Bronze turkey Ballontine which only needs 20 minutes in the oven. Pommes Chateaux are ready for a quick roast, sadly the sprouts didn't survive the journey, but turkey gravy and Cranberry sauce did.
Two minutes in the microwave for a delicious fruity Christmas pud to serve with rich Brandy butter and finally, potted Stilton, digestive biscuits and a small, delicious bottle of Court Garden fizz. Phew. A very thoughtful gift indeed. (EL) Buy here
A Merry Little Christmas Hamper, £27.50
Perfect for: those who believe too much is never enough at Christmas
To have two chocolate-orientated Christmas Hampers in one round-up may seem excessive - but if there is ever a season for it, let it be now.
We found this selection of chocolate delectables to be pleasingly caramel orientated, with the moreish Salted Caramel Snowflakes and two caramel-chocolate slabs - The Comet Does Caramel Slab, and the Ultimate Caramel Slab. The slabs provide great big, gratifying mouthfuls of chocolate, with a gorgeous mouthfeel, and smooth caramel. There's also 40% milk chocolate puddles for good measure. (KC) Buy here
Chatsworth Pilsley Christmas Hamper, £80
Perfect for: A touch of class at an afternoon tea picnic
Award-winning Chatsworth Farm Shop in Derbyshire pride themselves on their specially created products, and this hamper is truly a showcase of what they do.
The stylish, cloth-lined wicker hamper is beautiful and will last for years. Inside are bottles of delicious apple juice and a classic lemonade; savoury thins and crackers perfect for slathering with the jar of lemon chicken rillette or the salmon pâté; jam, ginger biscuits, praline and a hefty slab of plum brandy fruitcake to take care of the sweet-toothed.
With no fresh food in this hamper, it will keep well into 2021 for better weather, but we doubt anyone will be able to resist that long. (EL) Buy here
Marks & Spencer: Santa's Sack of Christmas Treats, £30
Perfect for: a family gift to bring cheer
We may be staring lovingly at M&S's Berkley Luxury Collection Hamper, but at £999, in these straightened times, it is out of our grasps.
Nevertheless, this wee basket of delights brought us oodles of Christmas Cheer. It felt like a child's ideal Christmas Food selection - arriving replete in Santa's sack, with milk chocolate sprouts, cookies and cream biscuits, the obligatory chocolate coins, a reindeer, suitably cheesy jokes, and a baking kit to make your own Christmas biscuits. It was hard not to smile munching through the selection - kids will love it. Buy here
Gloriously Gluten-Free £45.00
Perfect for: for someone with this dietary requirement
Christmas can be difficult for anyone with a gluten-free diet, making this box of goodies especially welcome to those staring at stuffing in despair.
There are savoury and sweet treats to choose from: with crackers, nuts, chocolates, jellies, crisps, popcorn, Turkish Delight, jam and fudge. We loved the white chocolate and pistachio cookies.
The hamper comes with a warning they have tried to create gluten-free gifts based on the ingredients itemised on the foods and recommend if you are strongly allergic to double-check the items on their website items before purchasing. (EL) Buy here
Fish for Thought Luxury Christmas Seafood Hamper, £119.95
Perfect for: A thoughtful gift for any seafood lover.
This hamper of 'fresh from the boat' fully sustainable and ethically sourced fish and seafood for two to share is a delight to open in its fully recyclable packaging and the discovery of a shoal of goodies inside.
There are frozen crab soufflés, handmade lobster bisque and hand-dived Coquilles St Jacques. Fresh are smoked salmon and two split and fully prepared gaspingly beautiful lobsters and a side of Thermidor sauce. On unwrapping them, they smell fresh from the sea, and though they can be popped into the freezer, this squeakily fresh, they deserved to be eaten immediately. We did, and they were delicious. (EL) Buy here
Lead reviewer: Elaine Lemm, additional reviews by Katrina Conaglen
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